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USS Donald Cook Finishes 3rd FDNF Patrol

November 20, 2015 at 12:00 AM UTC
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) returned to Naval Station Rota, Spain after completing its third forward deployed patrol in U.S. 6th Fleet.

NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) returned to Naval Station Rota, Spain after completing its third forward deployed patrol in U.S. 6th Fleet Nov. 20, 2015. The ship deployed from Naval Station Rota July 22, 2015 and conducted nine port visits, two international exercises, three international passing exercises (PASSEX), and numerous ballistic missile defense exercises. The ship also completed four at-sea training group certifications and two major ship wide inspections.


“The regularly scheduled deployed is our third Ballistic Missile Defense patrol since arriving in Spain in Feb 2014 and spanned the entire Mediterranean and Black Seas. We worked closely with our allies to increase interoperability while promoting peace and stability in the region. The crew performed brilliantly over the last 4 months and is very much looking forward to spending the holiday season with family and friends.” - Cmdr. Charles Hampton, USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), Commanding Officer

Quick Facts: 
The ship deployed from Naval Station Rota July 22, 2015.
Donald Cook operated with the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) from July 23 – Aug. 24, 2015 in support of NATO’s counter-terrorism operation Active Endeavour. SNMG2 consisted of naval ships from Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the United States.
Donald Cook anchored out of Théoule-sur-Mer, France from Aug. 13-17, 2015 to commemorate the 71st anniversary of Operation Dragoon which resulted in the allied liberation of southern France in August 1944. Donald Cook made courtesy calls to French officials, attended a memorial parade, and hosted a reception onboard. Guests in attendance included Rear Admiral O’Connor, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, Resources, and Plans, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, Mayor of Théoule-Sur-Mer, Defense Attaché to France, U.S. Naval Attaché to France, and the U.S. Consul General. Sailors participated in a community relations project (COMREL) at Rhone American Cemetery maintaining gravesites and placing American and French flags at each headstone in honor of Operation Dragoon.
Donald Cook entered the Black Sea on Aug. 28, 2015 in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Donald Cook conducted a passing exercise (PASSEX) with the Romanian naval ship ROS Sebastian (F 264) while in the Black Sea. Donald Cook and Sebastian conducted tactical maneuvering exercises, gunnery exercises, flashing light drills, search and rescue drills, and a visit, board, search and seizure training evolution.
Donald Cook arrived in Odessa, Ukraine Aug. 31, 2015 to attend the pre-sail conference of exercise Sea Breeze 2015. Sea Breeze was a multi-national exercise involving assets from Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Moldova, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Donald Cook hosted a reception attended by the Prime Minister of Ukraine; Commander of the Naval Forces Armed Forces of Ukraine; U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine; Minister of Defense of Ukraine; Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, Vice Adm. James Foggo III; Commander Task Force 65; Capt. Dromerhauser, and other exercise participants. Donald Cook’s visit, board, search and seizure team hosted the training of Ukrainian Navy sailors aboard USS Donald Cook while Ukrainian coast guard members observed the process. The damage control training teams compared techniques that were similar between the two Navies to include donning fire-fighting equipment, patching broken pipes, and handling fire-fighting hoses.
The at-sea phase included maritime interdiction operations, anti-submarine warfare training, self-defense against small boat attacks, air defense, damage control, and search and rescue efforts.
Donald Cook visited Larnaca, Cyprus Oct. 13, 2015, providing the crew another opportunity to experience the rich history and culture of an Eastern European country. Donald Cook participated in a joint search and rescue exercise involving the Cyprus Joint Rescue Coordination Center and assets provided by the Cyprus Coast Guard and Cyprus Police Aviation Unit.
Donald Cook arrived in Aksaz, Turkey, Oct. 30, 2015, to attend a pre-sail conference and several operational planning meetings in support of exercise Dogu Akdeniz 2015. Dogu Akdeniz, a biannual exercise, provided an opportunity to increase interoperability between the U.S. and Turkish Navies. A combination of U.S. and Turkish warships, submarines, and aircraft coordinated and completed anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, air defense, and advanced ship handling training evolutions to enhance their combined maritime skill sets. During exercise Dogu Akdeniz, Donald Cook sent two liaison naval officers to the Turkish frigates to help cooperation and collaboration between the Turkish and U.S. ships.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint naval operations often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.